Music Fills the Streets in Columbia, MO
PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Young
You might call Columbia, MO the music capital of the Midwest. The city is a virtual soundboard for all types of tunes, including country, rap, ragtime, rock and more progressive/experimental bands.
If you're in the family-friendly crowd, there are several festivals, fairs and parades all centered around music. Art in the Park is an event held the first full weekend in June. It brings together more than 90 artists from around the country and offers hands-on art activities for all ages, food booths, and live music and dancing. The John William "Blind" Boone Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival is also held in June. This event celebrates Missouri's indigenous music. You can also catch a tour of Boone's Victorian home in downtown Columbia. Daytime concerts are free, but the evening shows will cost you. More than a dozen other celebrations, including the Roots 'n Blues 'n BBQ Festival, the Bluebird Music and Arts Festival, and the Boone County Fair, provide great listening options.
The Blue Note is the place where big bands and well-known musical artists play in Columbia. This restored Vaudeville theater has been open since 1980. The Blue Note has hosted such top acts as Dave Matthews Band, Johnny Cash and Willy Nelson. It is home to the 9th Street Summerfest, a free five-part concert series. Mojo's is a smaller musical venue, with capacity for about 200 people. Both the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts and Theatre NXS and the Berlin Theatre, host a variety of plays, musicals and concerts, including orchestra performances. The Blue Fugue, a bar and restaurant, has live music and open mic nights.